Merrimack – Grey Rigorism (Moribund Records)

Saturday, 16th March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

This scribe and several other more BM-inclined writers bought into Merrimack’s 2006 effort, Of Entropy and Life Denial and who wouldn’t have? In terms of primal, yet hardly dated BM, Merrimack shot the gap with a batch of sticky, memorable songs with just a touch of melody to prop it above its contemporaries. Now, the French BM-mongers return with the slightly less than impressive, Grey Rigorism.

Most of what Merrimack is cut from the same no-frills, yet amply-produced realm that Marduk calls home, although Merrimack is slightly more adept at putting together a string of frenzied, yet catchy songs like “Omniabsence,” “Kirjath-Ra” and “La Saintete du Mal,” all of which comprise the meat of the album. This trio of songs goes from groove-oriented (“Omniabsence”) to all-out blast-attack (“Kirjath-Ra”) to atmospheric (“La Santete du Mal”).

Past that, Grey Rigorism sorta flies by, lacking the cold, calculating hooks of its predecessor. Yet in terms of French black metal (which has what, three good bands going for it now), Merrimack appear to be the crème-de-la-crème.

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